A source of hope and inspiration

April 23, 2015 | (39) Comments

Texas Children’s family, I’m really excited to share something new with you: On the Mark, a new blog I’ve launched to share stories, ideas and insights with you.

Some of what you read here will focus on Texas Children’s and our priorities. Other blog posts will give you an inside look into how we determine the future of Texas Children’s and what we need to do in order to best serve our mission. And still others will allow me to share my personal stories about the things that influence and impact me and my leadership, here and at home.

Believe it or not, it was the correspondence with you over the past few months that motivated me to start this blog. I have always enjoyed the open dialogue I share with so many of you across the organization. But the strength of the relationships we’ve built really struck me while I was away. It was the countless emails, cards and letters I received from you that encouraged and supported me. I have no doubt that it was all of your faithful, unrelenting prayers that helped me recover so quickly and completely.

Beyond your support of me personally, however, was the tremendous inspiration you gave me as you shared story after story of what brought you to Texas Children’s and what drives you to do your work here every day. Here’s part of one kind note I received from Lindsey Gurganious in January:

“I want to share something with you that I am so terribly proud of. My mother, Sandy, has worked for Texas Children’s Hospital for more than 35 years. I am so proud of her, and I cannot stop telling people this. She mostly works nights, and when I was growing up, she worked every shift she could to give my brother and me the experiences of a lifetime and everything we ever needed.

My bed time stories were her telling me about her shift and the people she helped, whether they were patients or her colleagues. Because of her stories, I knew that I would work at Texas Children’s Hospital one day. I did not know what I would be doing for certain, but I have never doubted that this is where I would plant my roots and grow.

I used to wear my mother’s TCH t-shirts to school, steal every TCH pen she had, and, in first grade when we were asked to write what we wanted to be when we grew up, I wrote that I wanted to work at Texas Children’s Hospital. I believe I even drew a very poor TCH logo! I am not alone in this. My brother is also working here as well! The Gurganious family is taking over!”

Lindsey, pictured above with her mom and brother, is an administrative assistant in Critical Care. Her mother Sandy is a nursing administrative coordinator. And her brother Anthony is a Security Services sergeant. They have made serving Texas Children’s mission a family affair. Amazing!

Lindsey’s letter made my day. And pretty much every morning began like that for weeks. Your wonderful stories of dedication and courage lifted my spirits. I simply could not wait to get back to doing what I love, working with all of you to make Texas Children’s the best hospital in the world.

So consider this blog my way of sharing with you my personal thoughts and ideas. But let’s make it our space, because I want to continue to hear from you too. I want to share your Texas Children’s stories. What brought you here? What drives you? Tell me how you care for our patients. Maybe you will share something here that someone else in a completely different area will read, and it will impact a patient’s or family’s experience for the better. And I want to know the stories about the colleagues who inspire you. I want On the Mark to be a source of hope and inspiration for all of us.

Until next time,


39 Responses to “A source of hope and inspiration”

  1. Hasti Taghi

    We are so lucky to have you as our leader and I am so excited to have this new method for all employees to have an open dialogue with you, no matter where they work within our ever-growing system. Congrats on your new blog!

  2. Sandy Gurganious

    Mr Wallace,
    I am so honored and humbled that you included me and my family in your new blog. Needless to say I am one proud momma! When you have a passion for what you do, it is contagious. The TCH family has been with me through so many events in my life, both good and not so good. I have made many life-long friends here. My dearest forever friend I met here in 1981 when I was her infant son’s nurse. The people I have met, worked with and learned from here at TCH over the years have all inspired me and I am daily in awe of the miracles that happen here at TCH.

  3. Barbara Ann Sauls

    It’s good to hear everyone’s replies about Mark Wallace. Your blog is so exciting! It’s good to hear you’re progressing well from your health. You’re a very good and talented leader for TCH Mr. Mark Wallace. God bless always in Christ Jesus. I have been working here for exactly 23 Years.

  4. Monica Simmons

    What a great opportunity for those of us working at Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as those who are not as lucky, to recieve regular updates, inspiration, and education on leadership from someone with your knowledge, experience, and passion for success. Thank you!

  5. sridevi devaraj

    You are truly a visionary and a fighter-glad to have you back in full health and vigor, leading our institution to many more laurels. TCH is not just an institution, it is a family, and that is because of leaders like you. I hope to play a part in my own small measure to the success of TCH. This is LAB Week and the staff are appreciative of any accolades we can give them for their tireless work and dedication to serving our little patients at TCH

  6. Stephen Steptoe

    10. “The best companies in the world are those that have outstanding front-line leadership.” – Mark Wallace’s 10th Leadership Maxims

    Congratulations on your new blog. What another great opportunity to show my friends and family what a great place Texas Children’s Hospital is, to work. What a fantastic accolade for my TCH family to be recognized by such a personable leader. I appreciate everything you do to motivate us, our patients and their families, for better outcomes.

  7. Katrina Simms

    This is a wonderful story and related. My children are in high school and college. They wear my TCH shirts to school and their friends think they were working at TCH. Now the entire school and their teachers are all aware of where I work. It’s wonderful to be out in public and patients recognize you and are so thankful for TCH. My middle daughter is starting college in August to become a NICU pediatric nurse so she can work for TCH. Amazing!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Edward Lewis

    This is a wonderful tool for all of us to read and hear the great stories about our patients and co-workers. I have been with Texas Children’s for 21 years and at the end of each day I leave with a sense of pride knowing that I work for this great institution.

  9. Jamie Snow

    I love the blog! After having my first patient experience here last fall, I have never been more proud to work at Texas Children’s. You always talk about the people that work here being a key to Texas Children’s success and culture. You are so right! The people are compassionate and passionate about the families they serve and the community they impact. Thank you for creating an environment that allowed myself and my new little boy to be happy and healthy!

  10. Edelweiss Hearne

    So happy to know you are back and doing great!! Both my husband and I have worked here 13years. We met and had our three girls here. TCH is our second family and we feel so very blessed to have the privilege of being a part of it. It is because of your vision and direction that makes TCH Great! Thank you!!
    The Hearnes

  11. Laura A Falcon

    I just read this remarkable story and it was really awesome!!!
    I myself have been working for Texas Childrens Hospital for 16 years come this June!!! It is a wonderful place to work for and it has become my second home!!! I think it’s wonderful Mr. Wallace how you continue to keep shining that light upon us all, thank you.

  12. Debbie Alexander

    It is such a pleasure to work for a company that has such a caring and wonderful leadership team. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work for a company that employs the best medical team of professionals who are so dedicated to helping our children. I leave here everyday with such pride and am very proud to tell people where I work.

    Mark welcome back, glad to hear you are doing so well!

  13. Eden McCleskey

    Welcome back, Mr. Wallace! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story about the Gurganious Family — what an inspiration they are. I hope my kids will love and look up to me as much as Anthony and Lindsey love and look up to Sandy!!

  14. Achim Scheurer

    So happy to know that you are doing better, and my payers were heard.
    Thank you for allowing me to work at TCH, and giving me and others the opportunity to work for a world class company.
    I am proud to be here, and support with my proffessionality.
    Thank you Mark Wallace for growing TCH, and daily miracles.
    You are a world class Leader.

  15. Sandi Sands

    Mr. Wallace,
    Thanks you so much for creating this exciting page for us to tell you about the wonderful organization that you and others have worked so hard to create and update! My children were patients at TCH many years ago. I always wanted to work here so when I had the opportunity, I jumped at it and have loved every minute of serving the patients and families. It is truly my pleasure and I’m so humbled to come to work! Now I have a grandson working here and I look forward to other family members serving and giving their time and talents to the patients and families that we serve at TCH!

  16. Christy Brunton

    Love the blog! It is so great to hear from you directly and I look forward to reading more! I can’t believe I have been here almost six years. The time has just flown by which is a testament to how wonderful it is to work here! Thanks for your leadership and all you do.

  17. Jenna Jane Sneed

    Welcome back! Your leadership maxims shared during New Employee Orientation not only validated my choice to come to Texas Children’s, but ignited real enthusiasm for what was to come. Even more rewarding is that there’s still the enthusiasm a year and half later. Your vision, our people and the work we do are “On the Mark” in my book!

    Looking forward to future posts.

  18. Paula M. Zimlicki

    Wow! This is great, Mr. Wallace. It will be wonderful to hear from you through this blog. I started at Texas Children’s almost one year ago. I have worked at several hospitals/academic medical centers and TCH has been the best because of its culture–culture you helped to create. Thank you!

  19. Cassandra Fernandez

    Welcome back Mr. Wallace!

    What a wonderful story to top off your blog. I am so honored to be apart of this company. It is a pleasure to go each home each day knowing I helped a child or a family. I have only been here a little over a month but i can say this has been such a welcoming place to start. Everyone here is so caring and friendly. I look forward to my journey with TCH, and I can’t wait to share the stories with my children about how great it is to work here!

  20. Regina Okhuysen-Cawley

    Wonderful news! We are all so glad to hear that you are back to work, marking the occasion with this inspirational blog. It is truly a privilege to work at Texas Children’s Hospital , with its world-class, outstanding leadership and team spirit.
    On our Mark(s), get set, go!

  21. Richard A. Ridge, RN, PhD

    Thank you Mr. Wallace jumping into the Blogosphere with “On The Mark”!

    Timely, relevant, and trustworthy communication is a challenge in all healthcare organizations, but especially in an integrated health delivery system of the size, complexity, and constant exponential growth mode of Texas Children’s Hospital. Effective two-way channels, vertically and horizontally, are critical to our success. As I complete my first 100 days at Texas Childrens Hospital, I’ve been continually impressed by the attention paid to effective leadership development at all levels. And without effective communication, we will never achieve our full potential as effective leaders.

    When I’m asked what’s the best way to reach staff and leaders with information, I’ve often advised to use every channel available. It’s like bringing your fly collection or tackle box when you go fishing and never relying on just one fly or lure. Use ‘em all.

    Your Blog will be much appreciated as another tool to help facilitate the two-way flow of needed information. As leaders we will help promote the breadth and depth of this exciting new venue by encouraging our fellow team members to not only read your Blog, but also to participate!

  22. Inspired employee

    Mr Wallace, your ever growing visions, spirit and sense of dedication to serve those who cannot help themselves is truly contagious and quite unparalled (hope my spelling is correct!). Your honest sincerity is very contagious and helps me carry on inspite some discouragements in our daily work. Mr Wallace you demonstrate what a true leaders is to a great institution now and moving forward!!

  23. Newshia augustine

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for starting the blog on my birthday, just kidding. You are such a wonderful person. I still cannot forget the amazing experience I had when I met you on the elevator. You had that cheerful smile on your face. You talked to me a lot and I was excited that the chief is talking this much to an employee. I still remember when one person who was standing on the hallway was so delighted when you told him GOD BLESS YOU. Please continue to inspire us with your words and actions. We all can make TCH the best place to work.

  24. Bonnie Magliaro

    When I first started working here in 2006, your presence out and about was a common occurrence. You were always stopping to ask staff how they were doing. That personal connection meant a lot to us, the employees. As our organization has grown and the demands on your time have increased, we have been missing those opportunities. This blog is a great way to put that back into our daily lives and to re-enforce just how much you care about each and every person who works here at TCH. I think that personal connection is what drove TCH’s staff satisfaction when I came and is what is needed to keep such a large workforce engaged. Kudos to you for finding a unique way to make that happen again despite our growth to multiple campuses and in providing new services. One of my leadership tenants is: Personal connection drives performance. You were the origin of that tenant for me and the reason I believe it is so important. Thank you for your continued inspiration.

  25. Carrie Smith

    Good morning Mr. Wallace,
    I celebrated my 15 year anniversary at TCH yesterday with everyone and I just have to tell you how much it mean’t to me that you took the time to show all of us how much you appreciate our service. I have to admit in all my years here, I hadn’t seen a side of you that I saw yesterday. We are all so very lucky to have you as our leader and I never felt so honored. I also thank the HR Department for organizing this wonderful celebration which I am sure took months to plan. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

  26. Carmen Roberts

    Thanks for creating “On the Mark”. It’s great to explore your leadership maxims. This positive blog invigorates all the TCH employees.
    Keep them coming!
    Carmen Roberts RN

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